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Allies - Music For Dance, Vol.2

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Allies - Music For Dance, Vol.2 album cover
Small Mercy I
A Rock And A Hard Place
Davor And Dzeneta
Small Mercy II
Album Information

Total Tracks: 6   Total Length: 40:41

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They Say All Music Guide

Guitarist, bassist, violinist and composer Fred Frith has made many different kinds of music over the course of his celebrated career, from the politically progressive avant-rock of Henry Cow and the Art Bears to the more abrasive punk jazz of Massacre and his richly varied solo work, some of which is esoteric and forbidding (Guitar Solos) and some of which is downright lyrical and inviting (Gravity). Allies, a suite of compositions for Frith’s various solo instruments accompanied by drums, saxophone and cello, is one of his most impressive accomplishments, a work of maturity and depth that never panders to the listener but never goes out of its way to alienate, either. In fact, these six pieces are all quite easy on the ear; “Rifka,” which opens the program, is much more rhythmically complex than it sounds at first, but its melodic structure is straightforward and lovely. The melody builds among the various instruments on a rocketing principle that distributes the melody notes from instrument to instrument while Joey Baron stitches things together with a spare but elegant drum part. “Nenad” is less immediately captivating, but builds nicely with interlocked rhythmic patterns that unfold in a manner reminiscent of Steve Reich’s early work. Only “Davor and Dzeneta” fails to really engage the imagination, and even it contains moments of genuine interest. The overall mood of the six compositions is rather sad and contemplative, but not unattractively so. Very highly recommended. – Rick Anderson

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